Cased Colt Hartford-London Dragoon percussion revolver serial number 635 formerly the property of Lieutenant-General Gordon Caulfield of the 46th Bengal Native Infantry.
General Gordon Caulfield, the son of Captain Robert Caulfield of the Royal Navy was born in Balmaghie, co, Kirkcudbright, Scotland on the 10th August 1816. He joined the service becoming a cadet in 1834 and arrived in India on the 28th July, 1835 at the age of nineteen.
On the 24th September 1835 he was posted to the 46th Bengal Native Infantry and in November 1842 became Acting Adjutant of the 2nd Infantry Levy at Jaunpur. He served in the Punjab Campaign and the Second Sikh War of 1848-1849 which resulted in the subjugation of the Sikh Kingdom and the annexation of the Punjab which became to be known as the North-West Frontier Province. He was present and fought in the battles of Chillianwallah and Goojerat.
He rose through the ranks as follows:-
Ensign on 23rd March 1835.
Lieutenant on 3rd October, 1840.
Captain on 8th October, 1850.
Major on 1st March, 1861.
Lt. Colonel on 23rd March 1861.
Colonel on 23rd March 1866.
Major General on 1st October, 1877.
Lt. General on 1st July 1881.
General on 1st December, 1888.
General Gordon Caulfield died at Fairmount, Mottingham near Eltham on 8th December 1894 at the age of seventy nine.
Cased British proofed Colt Hartford-London Dragoon percussion revolver serial number 635. The revolver has a blued barrel and cylinder with case-coloured frame, loading lever with vertical latch with securing screw entering from the left and hammer. The silver-plated brass back-strap and rounded trigger-guard are complimented with one-piece varnished walnut grips. The 7 ½ inch round and octagonal barrel bears the address: – ADDRESS SAML COLT NEW-YORK CITY – on the top flat and ‘COLT’S / PATENT’ stamped on the left side of the frame. All numbers are matching and numbered 635 including the wedge. British proof-marks are stamped on each of the chambers and on the left side of the barrel lug. Colt Hartford-London Dragoon percussion revolvers are found in their own series and numbered from 1 to 700.
Cased in its original oak blue velveteen lined case with circular brass escutcheon on the lid and ‘Directions for Loading Colt’s Pistols’ label in the inside lid. Accessories include the following:- ‘G. & J.W. HAWKSLEY / SHEFFIELD’ bag type powder flask with lanyard ring with graduations from ¾ dram to 1 dram, Eley Bros 500 count cap tin for Belt and Pocket Pistols, Straight legged brass 44 bullet dragoon mould (Rapley M8) with sprue cutter stamped ‘COLTS / PATENT, Dragoon size nipple key & screw-driver and unmarked oil bottle. Also original key for the case. An ink inscription on the inside of the lid reads “Reduced from 125 to 90/-” and also inscribed “O.M.W. (initials of O.M. White) 1895 Eltham”
Chronology of cased Colt London Dragoon serial number 635
1853: Colt Hartford London Dragoon percussion revolver serial number 636 manufactured circa 1853 from parts sent to the Colt London factory from Colt’s factory in Hartford, Connecticut. British-proofed and retailed in Engand.
Gordon Caulfield was a Captain at this time and probably acquired serial number 635 whilst in India or on a visit back to England.
1894: On his death on 8th December, 1894 Caulfield bequeathed the cased Colt London Dragoon serial number 635 to his doctor Surgeon O.M. White.On his death, O.M. White donated the cased Colt London Dragoon serial number 635 to the Museum of Artillery in the Rotunda at Woolwich.
Cased Colt London Dragoon serial number 635 is listed in an inventory of the Museum of Artillery in the Rotunda at Woolwich dated 1963. In Part II; CONTENTS – Class XA Pistols, 1 A Colt revolver original pattern, formerly the property of Lt. General Gordon Caulfield, 46th Bengal N.I.
Mr Barry Brown bought cased Colt London Dragoon serial number 635 out of the Museum of Artillery in the Rotunda at Woolwich. At that time the curator deemed that because the museum was a Museum of Artillery and Caulfield, being an infantryman, that the cased set was dispensible. An undated document signed by the curator with a heading ISSUE & RECEIPT VOUCHER shows ownership passing to Mr B. Brown with description as follows: 10A – 1. COLT REVOLVER ORIGINAL PATTERN CAL.44 NO. 635. FORMERLY THE PROPERTY OF LT. – GEN. GORDAN CAULFIELD 46TH BENGAL N.I. PRESENTED BY SURGEON O.M. WHITE.
1988: Wallis & Wallis, West Street Auction Galleries, Lewes, Sussex. Cased Colt London Dragoon serial number 635 featured in their Diamond Jubilee Sale and sold to a British buyer. Bought by dealer David Sanders from Sunderland, Tyne & Wear. Mr Sanders sold the cased set to a collector from Cumbria.
2008: On the collectors death the family sold his collection through Bonhams in London in April, 2008. I bought cased Colt London Dragoon serial number 635 at the Bonhams auction.
2009: Bought from Pete Holder by Craig Murry-Orr, London on 8th February, 2009.
2011: Bought from Pete Holder by John Reeves, Wiltshire on 5th October, 2011.
This historical set comes with much provenance from the Museum of Artillery in the Rotunda at Woolwich.